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night, listening to a band at 2:30 in the morning. suddenly, a fire. started small and then engulfed the club, filling it with smoke and hundreds of people in a panic. it got more urgent and complicated when some of the victims weren't allowed out. and today we learned of arrests and an investigation that is just getting under way. nbc's keir simmons is with us tonight to start us off from santa maria, brazil. keir, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. the death toll here is almost unimaginable. the gymnasium behind me became a makeshift morgue. more than 230 lives were lost, and scores more are still hospitalized. survivors said it was like a horror movie. a nightclub turned death trap. >> i have been in the nightclub before. >> reporter: audrey narrowly escaped. what did you see? >> people crying. people dying in my sight. >> reporter: hundreds of others,
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including two of her friends, did not. >> i lost very special people to me. >> reporter: today, the funerals began. so many dead, the coffins laid out in rows. found here by grieving loved ones. on saturday night, they had packed the kiss nightclub. survivors say the band set off pyrotechnics, igniting a fire in the ceiling. it spread in seconds, filling the club with smoke. the crowd panicked. confused security guards at first blocked the exits. in the stampede, audrey was nearly trampled. but she could breathe. but someone pulled her to safety. this is the club before the disaster. no windows. the front door, the only exit. early sunday morning, it was chaos. a struggle to revive victims. some survivors searched for loved ones. others smashed holes to let people escape. but for most, it was too late. bodies were piled up inside. most overcome by smoke. the bodies have been removed,
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but you can still smell the smoke and on the sidewalk flowers. the victims' names and faces are now filling brazilian tv and social media. many were students, teenagers. santa maria is a university town. >> i'm very happy that i'm here. but i cannot explain how i feel about my friends. about the city. >> reporter: four arrests have been made so far. reportedly, a club co-owner and two band members. brazil is in mourning, as everyone tries to make sense of it all. brian, this is the deadliest fire this country has seen in more than half a century. they blocked doors because they thought that young people hadn't paid for their drinks, and many back in the u.s. will be reminded of a terrible tragedy
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ten years ago in rhode island. again, a packed nightclub, a fire, and panic that ended in tragedy. back then, 100 lives were lost. here in brazil, that death toll has more than doubled. and brian, tonight, a fourth arrest here. >> what a terrible story. keir simmons starting us off in brazil tonight. thanks. in washington this evening, here's something we haven't been able to say in a long time. there is new hope for a broad bipartisan agreement, this time on the issue of immigration reform. after republicans took a historic shellacking among hispanic voters in the november election, what has been one of the most divisive issues in recent politics, suddenly has lawmakers on both sides ready to make some sort of a deal. kelly o'donnell following it all for us on capitol hill tonight. kelly, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. there really is new political urgency driving this. republicans say immigration reform is one way they could better connect with the fast-growing block of hispanic voters. democrats would like to help the president get an early second term success. so all that makes an agreement hammered out this weekend look like it's got a shot to deal
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with the 11 million people believed to be here illegally. today, in places like this vegetable field in ventura county, california, the immigration struggle is part of daily life for farmer craig underwood and 200 migrant workers he hires. >> we would hope for some sort of reform, so that the workers don't feel threatened and that we don't feel threatened. >> reporter: in a new plan, senators from both parties agreed, to get a green card and years later, citizenship, undocumented immigrants would register with the federal government, pay fines and back taxes, undergo criminal background checks and learn english. while other attempts at reform have failed, they claim this time is different. >> the public's attitude has changed in four years. four years ago, they said, fix the border. now they much prefer a comprehensive solution. >> elections. elections. the republican party is losing the support of our hispanic citizens. >> reporter: a voting block so
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critical -- in an unusual display, both a veteran democrat and rising star republican described the plan in spanish. [ speaking in spanish ] >> reporter: to attract conservatives, promises to strengthen security. more border patrol agents and aerial drone surveillance. the government would track temporary visas to reduce staying past deadlines and create a new employment verification system. >> we have to ensure we don't do anything that encourages people to come here illegally in the future. >> so there are new rules for undocumented immigrants who fill special needs. an agricultural worker program would permit laborers to work in the u.s. legally, but does not grant citizenship. visiting students who earn advanced degrees in science and technology here could get a green card. and, of course, there is real resistance among some republicans and some democrats. so the people behind this plan say they know it will still be
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very tough to turn today's framework into specifics and to get something done. brian? >> kelly o'donnell on the hill covering it all for us tonight. kelly, thanks. let's bring in our political director, chief white house correspondent, chuck todd. and chuck, some people look at the presidency as a checkbook, and certainly this will amount to one of the first checks the president writes, drawing down that political balance. >> reporter: well, that's right. and tomorrow he's going to nevada to create public pressure, the white house says. it was supposed to be the place where he was going to launch this push for immigration, but the white house is very supportive of what this bipartisan group of senators are not ready to fully endorse the deal, but they endorse it in principle. and that's exactly right. and it goes to what kelly said at the beginning, brian. both parties -- big deals happen in washington when the political self interests align. and john mccain has been very straightforward about the self interests of the republican party. they have got to fix their problems with hispanics, and that's why they're at the table.
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>> all right, chuck todd, at the white house tonight. chuck, thanks. it has been exactly three months since hurricane sandy tore up the east coast, and finally tonight, after a four-week delay, the senate gave final approval to a $50 billion aid package to help the region rebuild. this bill was delayed when the clock ran out. you'll recall at the new year on the legislative session before a vote could be scheduled, which sparked outrage on both sides of the political aisle. tens of thousands of people in new york and new jersey, for starters, are still out of their wrecked homes, or living without adequate heat in the dead of winter. now to news of a big reversal being considered tonight by the boy scouts of america. a fundamental change in their long-standing policy toward gay scouts and scout leaders. our justice correspondent, pete williams, broke this story this afternoon. he's with us from our d.c. newsroom with more. pete, good evening. >> reporter: brian, the boy scouts are on the verge of ending their policy of banning
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gay young people from the program. if approved, it would mark a huge change for an organization that has actively resisted this in the past. >> the scouts fought hard against james dale, who was virtually a scouting poster boy, eagle scout, assistant scout master by age 18. but after he publicly declared he's gay, the scouts said he's no longer welcome. he sued and the u.s. supreme court ruled a decade ago the scouts had the legal right to exclude gays. today dale says he's shocked that the policy might be changing. >> i think fair-minded americans know that discrimination is wrong. and that the boy scouts were out of step with america by excluding gay young people and telling nongay children that discrimination was an american value. >> reporter: if approved, the new policy would end the national ban on gay scouts and scout leaders. leaving it up to local troops to decide the issue for themselves. in a statement, the boy scouts said members and parents would be able to choose a local unit which best meets the needs of their families. it would be a big change for an
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organization that just seven months ago reaffirmed its ban on gays. the new move follows high-profile expulsions, including jennifer torrel, removed last year as a den leader for her son's cub scout pack in ohio because she's gay. that prompted a protest from an eagles scout in iowa, zack walls, who told the democratic convention last summer about being raised by two mothers. and both barack obama and mitt romney said during the campaign that the boy scouts should change the policy. but tonight, the southern baptist convention says it's saddened by the news. churches sponsor well over half the nation's 116,000 local scouting organizations. >> the boy scouts' national board votes on this next week and tonight's insiders predict it will pass handily and then take effect june 1st, brian. >> pete williams in our d.c. newsroom having broken the story earlier today. pete, thanks. and now to our weather, making news again, specifically another huge temperature swing. going on across a big part of this country right now. in the midwest, after a
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dangerous ice storm yesterday, it felt like spring today. but that's before the coming temperature change of around 50 degrees. weather channel meteorologist chris warren is with us. chris, these numbers are incredible. >> they really are, brian. an all-time january high in topeka, kansas today. 77 degrees. many southern locations feeling these unusually warm temperature readings, looking at temperatures into the upper 70s in some cases, even 80 degrees in corpus christi. tomorrow potentially even warmer in those spots. and this is why. we have a big area of high pressure, keeping things very warm. but dramatically different by the end of the week. cooler air moving down from canada. this is how it plays out in it chicago. 58 degrees tomorrow, almost 40 degrees cooler by thursday and friday. and brian, this will come at a price. we're looking at the threat for
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severe weather in the lower midwest and the south, possibly tornadoes tomorrow and wednesday. >> all right. chris warren, weather channel headquarters tonight. chris, thanks. and still ahead for us on a monday evening, news for women facing a tough decision on breast cancer. it's about major courses of treatment and which one may amount to the better option. and later, a woman who is making a difference by using her entire life savings to give a lot of kids the drive to succeed.
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as we mentioned, tonight's health news may be of help to women faced with a big decision about breast cancer treatment. a new study from duke university is suggesting that lumpectomy plus radiation may be an even better option than mastectomy for early-stage breast cancer. our report on this tonight from our chief medical editor, dr.
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nancy snyderman. >> reporter: 40-year-old arita chang is used to being in charge of her health. she exercises regularly and has a healthy diet. so when she got stage 1 breast cancer a few years ago, she made the choice a lot of younger women are making these days. >> i chose a mastectomy, because it reduced the chances of recurrence. it provided better cosmetic outcome. i also didn't want to doubt that i hadn't done enough. >> reporter: for years, research showed that for early-stage breast cancer, survival is about equal with either mastectomy or lumpectomy plus radiation. but a new study indicates those who choose the less-invasive lumpectomy with radiation may have an advantage. >> doing more surgery doesn't necessarily improve your chances of doing well from breast cancer. >> reporter: researchers analyzed 112,000 women diagnosed with early stage breast cancer between 1990 and 2004. 55% had lumpectomy plus radiation. 45% had mastectomy without radiation. women who had lumpectomy plus
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radiation had higher survival rates. particularly women over the age of 50 with hormone-sensitive tumors. doctors caution, they aren't clear exactly what underlying factors may have influenced these results. ♪ >> reporter: 72-year-old barbara croft decided to have a lumpectomy and radiation last year. she didn't mind the time or travel required to get radiation. her big worry, spending more hours in the operating room. >> my concerns about getting a mastectomy were the question of a much larger surgery, actually. as well as some kind of reconstruction. >> reporter: location and lifestyle are increasingly influencing women's choice of treatment. and doctors say for early stage patients, those are the considerations that matter most. >> the question for every woman becomes not just the general options, but which of the two options might be a best fit for her personally. >> well, every woman wants to individualize treatment.
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in this case, it may be that less surgery has better outcomes, brian. >> nancy, while we have you, a friend and colleague of all of ours today, barbara walters, 83 years old, has been in the hospital for nine days, suffered a fall before the inauguration, spiked a fever. and today we learned she has chickenpox. how common is that? >> it's not common, but a reminder that anybody who hasn't had chickenpox, nor been immunized, if you're 13 and over, if you're not sure you had chickenpox, get your chickenpox vaccine. not the shingles vaccine, the plain vaccine from childhood. a reminder when a childhood disease hits an adult, it can be very threatening, brian. very severe. and it's something that doctors caution people about all the time. if you're not sure, get your vaccine, two vaccines spread out by one month. >> of course, we wish our friend barbara well. >> yes, we do. >> my money is on her, thanks. >> my money is on her too. >> nancy, thank you, as always. when we come back, the queen's momentous decision to abdicate the throne, but perhaps not the queen you're thinking
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reports out of israel say ariel sharon is exhibiting signs of significant brain activity. the news came as a surprise, as sharon has been in what's been described as a persistent vegetative state since suffering a stroke back in '06. his doctors say he now responds to family photos, his son's voice, among other things. former israeli leader is 84 years old. trouble on the mississippi river tonight. after two tanker barges struck a bridge near vicksburg this weekend. one of the barges carrying 80,000 gallons of crude oil, and it's leaking. a sheen has been spotted three miles down river. as the clean-up progresses, river traffic is closed. 400 different barges are awaiting passage. a bizarre scene in australia, where severe weather along the coastline has left
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some towns under four feet of sea foam. it was caused by huge offshore waves and high winds injecting air into the water. for the local kids, or for that matter, any vehicles trying to get through, it's like living with shaving cream. there is a serious side to this storm. four deaths so far. at least one dramatic rescue of a baby trapped by floodwaters, and fears that homes are going to be swept away. queen beatrix of the netherlands announced today she plans to step aside after 33 years as queen, abdicating the throne so her son, the crown prince, can become that nation's first king in over a century. in a related story, prince charles has been second in line to the british throne for 61 years. fresh off her diamond jubilee, of course, his mother, queen elizabeth, is showing no signs of slowing down. and during what many in hollywood thought would be a year of lincoln, ben affleck's movie "argo" is cleaning up heading into the academy awards.
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first the golden globe and then last night at the screen actors guild awards. the last go-round before the academy awards. best actor and actress went to daniel day-lewis for "lincoln" and jennifer lawrence for "silver linings playbook". up next, one extraordinary woman and the wheels on the bus making a difference for a whole lot of kids.
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time now for our "making a difference" report. a woman who started life in the humblest circumstances, then went on to become a successful educator. she is now back among the folks she grew up with. giving them a chance to connect with a wider world and making a difference along the way. nbc's kerry sanders has her story. >> that's good. >> reporter: estellea piefrom knows hard work. >> i started picking beans when i was about 6. >> reporter: the daughter of migrant farm workers, she traveled the harvest from florida to upstate, new york. invisible, she says, until a family wanted to use a rest room or eat. >> very, very few times we were allowed to even go inside of a restaurant and buy takeout food, because we were black. >> reporter: that didn't make her bitter. rather, determined. your dad finished what grade? >> about third grade.
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>> reporter: and your mom? >> fourth. >> reporter: and you? >> i went to college, got a master's degree. >> reporter: a degree, a 50-year career as a teacher and now at 76 years old, on her brilliant bus. >> doing a great job. >> reporter: her personal crusade to make sure those who are invisible, just like she was, are not. with $900,000, her pension and her entire life savings, she is has bank rolled a rolling wire classroom. >> this bus is a class? >> reporter: a bus. >> what does mop start with? >> m. >> reporter: that levels the playing field. >> you've got to find it. >> reporter: that so-called digital divide between those who have -- >> kobi, do you have a computer at home? >> reporter: and those who do not. erased by one woman. >> how far away from the little girl picking beans is this? >> way out. >> she did not forget where she came from.
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she did not forget to reach back and give somebody a hand up. >> where is s? >> reporter: a brilliant idea. >> i'm excited to get on the bus, because it was really, really great. >> finding the invisible. >> you did a good job. >> reporter: one stop at a time. kerry sanders, nbc news, rivera beach, florida. >> how about those kids? that's our broadcast on a monday night, as we start off a new week. thank you for being here with us. i'm brian williams. we hope to see you right back here tomorrow evening. good night.
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a disturbing scene, children watch from a nearby porch as an oakland police officer lays down evidence markers after the latest shooting, an 8-year-old girl shot and wounded in broad daylight. good evening and thanks for joining us on this monday. i'm raj mathai. >> and i'm jessica aguirre. that little girl is in the hospital tonight after being shot in the leg. this all unfolding around 2:30 this afternoon. nbc bay area's terry mcsweeney just spoke with oakland's chief of police and joins us live with what wha police have to say. just 8 years old. how is the girl? >> reporter: she's going to be fine. it's a superficial wound. the police chief responding him seven to the scene of the shooting today as a way of saying it's got to stop, shooting of these very young people, and there's been a slew of these in oakland, it's just got to stop. take a look at some pictures from the area 65th avenue off
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international boulevard. according to oakland police it happened about 2:40 this afternoon obviously broad daylight. a number of people were milling about this suv when a car pulled up, a group of people get out, they opened fire. an 8-year-old girl standing on the sidewalk, nothing to do with any of this, obviously, shot in the leg. again, superficial wound. she is going to be okay but many very young people shot in the city and killed. the chief finds these shootings especially disturbing. >> i'm particularly sensitive when it comes to these young kids being assaulted based on what happened over the previous years with the 5-year-old, the 3-year-old and gabriel martinez, i can go on and on. i want to make sure this pattern doesn't continue. >> there are kids getting shot all around here, and it's just not safe for our kids. and i don't know what to say. i'm really at a loss for words. i would like my daughter -- i don't even let my daughter out to play, not in

NBC Nightly News
NBC January 28, 2013 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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TOPIC FREQUENCY Us 10, Oakland 4, Brazil 4, U.s. 3, Chris Warren 2, Kelly O'donnell 2, Kerry Sanders 2, Brian 2, Nbc 2, Chuck Todd 2, Keir Simmons 2, Audrey 2, Pete Williams 2, America 2, Washington 2, Chuck 2, New York 2, Jennifer Lawrence 1, Gabriel Martinez 1, Brian Williams 1
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